City of Birmingham Rockets Men’s First Team recorded a first home win of the season in a fiercely competitive game against Charnwood Riders on Saturday evening.
We would lead for the majority of the night, with Nathan Ramsdale-Owen’s 25-point display a key component of the victory.
Michael Price also impressed on his Rockets debut, recording nine points and as many rebounds in his eighteen minutes on the court.
However, it would be Ramsdale-Owen who set us on our way with an early three on his way to a healthy eight-point quarter.
Some well organised full court press saw us force a number of turnovers later on in the first, with Matt Gaskell profiting from some careless inbounds from our visitors.
Charnwood kept it close with some efficient offensive sets, but Coach Douglas’ side rallied to maintain their early advantage, with our high intensity play seeing us slowly build the advantage our play merited.
Charnwood went on a late run to narrow our half-time lead to just one, which looked like it could prove pivotal as they hit an early three for their first lead of the night at the start of the third.
Back-to-back rejections from Mike Thiep got everyone in the arena on their feet, but Charnwood once again demonstrated a level of resilience by hitting a corner three immediately after the second to bring themselves back into it.
A Riders run then saw them open up a five-point lead going into the latter stages of the third before a Matt Parker free throw and a driving layup from Mike Price made it a two-point game inside the last two minutes of the quarter.
Ramsdale-Owen levelled it up with a pair of free throws before a frantic end to the quarter ensued.
Matt Gaskell scored a deep three put us back ahead, but Charnwood came back with one of their own after Faaris Mughal had extended our lead to five.
Our visitors would go on to take a single point lead before Faaris converted a pair of free throws to swing the pendulum once again back in our favour.
The Riders would take a three-point lead into the final quarter, but an inspired Rockets effort saw us quickly retake a lead which we would hold for the remainder of the game.
Mike Thiep grabbed the decisive late board as Charnwood scrambled to get a late three point attempt off in the final seconds as we secured our first home league win of the season.
Make sure you join us for our next home game, as we prepare to take on Bristol Hurricanes at Nechells Wellbeing Centre. Tickets are available now by clicking here.
Image courtesy of Adam Dawson